COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal involving a death row inmate who sought DNA testing on a cigarette butt found near the scene of the 1990 double murder that led to his sentence.
At issue is whether there is a constitutional appeals process for death row prisoners who have requests for DNA testing denied after a trial is over.
Defendant Tyrone Noling was convicted of killing Bearnhardt and Cora Hartig at their Portage County home in 1990, but he maintains his innocence.
Pretrial testing showed the 45-year-old Noling and his co-defendants hadn't smoked the cigarette, which was found on the Hartigs' driveway.
Noling contends technological advances make it possible to identify the smoker and determine whether that person was among other previously undisclosed suspects.